How to see Market Trends

Real Estate

"Do you see what I see?" No, I'm not a little lamb speaking to the shepherd boy.

According to my acupuncturist and friend, I'm "more than just a Realtor®." I like to see things in creative and independent ways. This often means I have to invent the means to see things, taking several steps. I have to get the market data. I have to correct its entry errors. I then study the data for homogeneity, so that I can build queries to summarize things based upon filters and ranges of values. Once I learn from the query results, I can decide how I want to display this information so that it imparts actual knowledge.

I could've said, show me all of the active market properties currently listed between $1M and $2M -- but I don't want to see a bunch of simple dots on a map with numbers over them. I want to see how the active market prices, of the current listings, have changed and over what period of time. I also want to see what those properties have done, in market history, for the last 20 years.


Well, gees, I will need some kind of schema to depict the different kinds of listing results: successful sales, cancelled unsold listings, expired unsold listings, active (at present) on the market, under contract, etc. How close are you looking? Do you note that there are 87 actively listed properties, in this nameless region, ranging in present list price from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000? Those are the blues.

Why are some not flat-topped, but taper-topped? Because their list price has changed (in the direction of the taper).

Why are the blues (or any of the colors) of different depths (see the years axis on bottom right) through time? Because they have been on the market for different lengths of time. Hint: oranges are cancelled unsold listings, and reds are expired unsold listings.

Oh, and the greens are listings that actually sold.

The lines on the floor are taxable value lines, which map very poorly in these higher-end homes.

What trends do you note, in this price range, over the past 20 years? How often do they sell? How have their prices changed? How many times have they been listed, and with what results? 

Let's switch gears. Below, you'll see parcels of land (of varying sizes) around a mountain lake, and dots indicating MLS activities over the past 20 years.

Ashley Listings

You can see that, as you get closer to the blue lake, tracts of land have been subdivided into ever-smaller and pricier tidbits.

Below, see the current active listings:

Ashley Active Listings

This is but a tiny fraction of the activity over the past 20 years, and truly a teeny handful of properties are actively seeking sales today. (But know that I can analyze active properties, or any diverse filtered selection of past-listings, too. This means I add 50% more market opportunity and wisdom than other Realtors®, by looking beyond what they seek and see.)

Now see how I represent these active properties, denoting more information about each property:

Ashley Active Listings - Styled

The top-most pie wedge is colored based upon current list price (from brown (dirt cheap) to dark blue (sky high)). The lower right wedge is colored based upon original list price percentage drop from original, from green (little if any price drop) to red (50% or more). Oh, and the dark green parcels are state lands, whereas the light green are timber-managed lands.

Charted for market trends, I create the following (vertical axis = thousands of dollars; horizontal axis = calendar years):


Here you see the tax value (land: green, building: blue, total: black) are a tad better matched to properties, because we are looking at properties down into the $500k and less zone too, and tax valuations trend closer to market prices here.

Zoomed into the closest property (to our view) in this chart, I see its market history:

5129 Ashley Lake Road (Kila)

The above single-property chart provides a single-property market trend. When I perform my market research, I often compare properties based upon number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage or lot size ranges, etc.

From the sample charts in this article, you can see that I educate and support my buying and selling clients way beyond the norm. I simplify mountains of data nobody else has, using comparison and trend charts of my own design -- and these convey unprecedented market wisdom.

So, my question to you: "How do you see the market?"